... not that the professionalization of community activism was all bad. Mostly it was a process of learning what worked, what was practical. Trial & error. & the problems still remain to be solved, for the most part, along with new problems.

One of the virtues of 70s activism was that it recognized - from the beginning, as one of its basic principles - the difference between words & deeds, between ideology and the actual amelioration of conditions. Sometimes I think the word-warriors of the 90s have forgotten what that's about.

This notion of the common good as an equilibrium or balance of competing forces (Jubilee !), constantly pushed & shaped toward fairness and social justice, has the potential to transcend some of the partisan political wars. This is where writers come in : to make such a notion (the common good as an actual equilibrium) more interesting - as something less susceptible, in the public mind, to polemic & sloganeering. The common good is not owned by left or right, by unions or business, by poor or rich, by workers or intelligentsia. Community is a goal, rather than a self-evident given.

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